Tomintoul 21 Year Old – Tasting Notes

Tasted this Tomintoul 21 years old more then a year ago at the Dutch Whisky Society tasting, and did not had the chance to get very large notes on it written down at that time. It felt young at that time (did I misread the 21 for 12 maybe? what was I thinking really??) and just found it sweet and fruity with not a very long finish, and ended up scoring not so high.

Now we have a sample from the DH17 #dramset kit it appeared left. This gave me a second chance for this one. Always nice to have these kind of surprises hidden in your sample collection, to be explored once again. Shall we have another look at this one?

Bottled at 40% and introduced in the summer of 2011 to replace the 27 yo expression. Maturation has been done in refill bourbon and refill hogsheads at the Tomintoul Distillery.
Nose
Last year I got only “sweet, soft, fruity, dried fruit”

And now really getting more notes when giving this some time to warm up. Fudge sweetness with rich vanilla, red apples and thick cream. Bit of wood coming through with lots of fruit notes and some nuts. Fresh citrus notes and sharp spices with vanilla pods.  

With some water added the nose becomes a bit fruity, and the woody and nutty flavours go a bit to the back. I am not a fan normally of the bit bitter nutty taste, also don’t like nuts very much. So I find it very hard when I find it in whisky to get through that layer and don’t let it overpower my senses, what it most of the time closes of then a bit sadly.

Palate
My first notes on the palate a year ago “sweet, fruity, soft, apricots, honey, citrus, caramel”.

Coming back to it I am getting a bit woody dryness, combined with caramel and honey vanilla creaminess.
Lots of fruity notes hidden behind the zesty citrus layer with some wintery spices. Makes me think of warm honey coated carrots with some nutmeg on them, some mash potato on the side and some stew.

There is some dry cocoa notes coming through with red dry apple skin, and some banana. Bit pencil shavings and some unsalted cashew nuts… Even with water they are very clear, but a bit softer and the vanilla, creamy and fruity is a bit more present, giving it more a nice fruitcake note to it. But still the bitter sets me off a bit.

Finish
This one does not give me a long finish, and with a bit new wood dry mouth feel. Becomes bit more creamy, cocoa and vanilla with the water added. Water does it good in my opinion and softens it out a bit.

Score
At my first quick tasting a year ago I gave it a 6,5 out of 10. I can see that it is something many people would enjoy, but the combination of the pencil shavings, wood and unsalted cashew nuts just don’t do it for me sadly. So I have to stay at my score. But there is more from this distillery to look forward to. We have some other samples from their expressions and lets see how they do?

Experienced it often on our short journey through the wonderful world of whisky that you just don’t have to make a quick decision if you like or dislike the spirits of a distillery, when you did not have tasted all of them to compare. I have had made some very nice discoveries of distilleries I have put aside with “dont like” because I looked at them again so always come back to something and try more. Always more to discover and every time you can find unexpected good things lying around the corner, the beauty of whisky.

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